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„Spartacus…” at the 29th Festival

The 29th edition oif International Festival of Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant is now well under way! On Wednesday, 15 March, 2023, we presented „Spartacus. Love in the Time of Plague” by Jakub Skrzywanek. The moving spectacle on our Big Stage was received with great applause. 

The spectacle’s creators take up the issue of suicides which become more and more common among young people who are faced with various forms of violence. Documentary features written by Janusz Schwertner devoted to young patients and their parents who are tangled up in a system of child psychiatric care system were the starting point for the director Jakub Skrzywanek (he was lately awarded with „Polityka Passport”). According to its creators, the spectacle is not „a story about a certain group and a branch of medicine but an attempt to look at the way in which we care for oursevles in Poland nowadays”. The stage design – hospital rooms – is very suggestive; it is built of metal fences coming from an old pig farm with straw on the floor (visual artist Daniel Rycharski was the stage designer).  The spectacle asks questions on treating people and depriving them of their dignity.              

After the spectacle Tomasz Domagała talked with its creators. Jakub Skrzywanek emphasized that the spectacle was a voice against antagonizng and destroying people, a voice in the fight for freedom and equal treating – it concerns not only LGBTQ+ persons but all people who are socially opressed. The crucial point during the work on the spectacle was to build up a bridge that would join various social groups and circles. Many people were engaged in the work on „Spartacus…” – the Farmers’ Wives Association from the village of Stobno, Lambda Szczecin – association of LGBTQ+ persons, artists associated with Współeczesny Theatre in Szczecin and Academy of Arts in Szczecin as well as doctors and specialists on children and teenagers in the suicidal crisis. „We all want to be clear that the right for love and self-determination belongs to everybody and the care for those who cry for help and acceptance is the responsibility of all of us”, the creators state.   

We want to thank the artists and the audience for this festival meeting. Our congratulations to two women from Łódź who took a marriage vow on the stage.   


Współczesny Theatre in Szczecin
„Spartacus. Love in the Time of Plague”
Directed by Jakub Skrzywanek
Script: Weronika Murek and Jakub Skrzywanek
Dramaturgy: Weronika Murek
Stage design: Daniel Rycharski
Costumes: Natalia Mleczak
Music: Karol Nepelski
Light direction: Aleksandr Prowaliński
Choreography: Agnieszka Kryst
Video: Krzysztof Kuźnicki and Jakub Skrzywanek
Violin: Piotr Wicenciak / Maria Kanarek
Based on features written by Janusz Schwertner, documentary materials and interviews with patients, parents and medics from child psychiatry wards all over Poland.
Cast: Maria Dąbrowska, Adrianna Janowska-Moniuszko, Anna Januszewska, Krystyna Maksymowicz, Ewa Sobczak, Helena Urbańska, Beata Zygarlicka, Arkadiusz Buszko, Robert Gondek, Adam Kuzycz-Berezowski, Michał Lewandowski, Maciej Litkowski, Wiesław Orłowski, Przemysław Walich
Stage manager: Anna Pawicka

Photo Maciej Zakrzewski